Selling a Home
So it's time to sell your home. For most, a home is the single largest asset that they own. Getting the most money for your home is certainly number one on most people's priority list. The following tips will help to ensure that you receive the most money.
Let's start with the most basic.
Choose an Experienced Real Estate Agent
- Clean Your House: Cleaning your home will give you the single biggest return on your dollar. Hiring a Cleaning Service will range from $125-$300 for the average size home. Having your home professionally cleaned will give the perception of a well maintained home. Also consider potpourri or any other deodorizers that give the house a fresh and clean smell. If the weather is optimal, consider leaving the windows open when showings are taking place. Always make sure beds are made, all trash has been removed, and dishes are out of the sink. A clean home is an absolute must to sell at or above market value.
- De-Clutter the Home: Next to cleaning, this is the single most important item to keep in mind when preparing for potential buyers. Remember less is more and a minimalist environment is ideal for selling. Remove toaster ovens and coffee makers from countertops and magazines from coffee table tops. Excess pictures should be removed as well as taste specific items. Remember that buying a home is an emotional purchase for the individual or family walking through. You want the buyer to picture the home as 'being theirs' and for them to be able to imagine their furniture and pictures on the walls. For that reason, it is also a wise idea not to have too many family portraits on the walls as this tends to make it more difficult for the buyer to picture the home as theirs.
- Exterior First Impression: The first thing that a buyer sees when stepping out of the car is the front of your home. Invest time and money to make sure the 'Curb Appeal' is top notch. The following are musts:
- Paint the front Door
- Change front door hardware if they are aged
- Caulk and paint in exterior areas that are visible immediately. Make the potential buyer feel confident that they are about to enter a well maintained home.
- Landscape the garden. A few extra dollars spent on mulch, shrubs, and flowers will return themselves every time with a well done front yard.
- Cut AND water the grass. If you need to water it daily and cut it twice a week when the home is on the market so be it. This will give your home the clean and tidy appearance and set the buyers expectation of what's to come when they enter the front door.
- Interior First Impressions: After impressing the potential buyer with exterior of the home, be sure to continue the good vibe when they walk through the front door of your already clean and de-cluttered home by checking the following:
- Paint the walls of your home if this has not been done in the last 2 years OR you have anything other than neutral colors. A soft yellow, tan, or beige through the entire house is the most desirable and will make your home feel bright, open, and fresh.
- Paint the trim including all molding and doors. This will make your home 'pop' and you'll be amazed at the subtle difference that fresh bright trim can make in a home.
- Have your carpet steam cleaned or replaced with a neutral color carpeting. Don't make the mistake of saying 'I'll just put a note on the wall with a carpet allowance.' It is all about the emotional appeal. A perspective buyer wants to feel like the home they are about to buy is in excellent condition. If steam cleaning does not work, replace if you want to sell quick at the highest price.
- Water stains in the ceiling. This is one that will scare a buyer away VERY quickly! Assuming that you have diagnosed and corrected the leak be sure to fix the drywall and paint the ceiling so the potential buyer does not feel the house is in ill repair.
- Takes steps to eliminate any odors in home caused by household pets.
The average real estate transaction has over 40 pages including mandatory state and local disclosures, lead based paint addenda, and seller disclosure/disclaimer documentation that is required by law. The deal is complicated and an experienced and licensed agent should be chosen to assist you and protect you during the process. Remember that all transactions are unique and specific to each home and client. If the seller wants less service or does not want the agent to spend money on advertising, the commission can typically be lowered.
Always be sure to hire a Full-Time agent to assist you in the buying or selling of your Real Estate. If your agent is needed to answer a questions or show your home and they are busy at their 9-5 job, the client is truly receiving a disservice. Remember that 10% of the Real Estate Agents do 90% of the business. Here are a few good questions to ask your potential agent:
Pricing your Home
- Is the agent a full time Real Estate Agent? It is important to have accessibility in an agent who is representing you.
- How long has the Agent been involved in the Sales and Marketing of Residential Real Estate?
- How many transactions has the agent done year to date? A good full time agent should be selling at least 2 homes per month.
- What is the Marketing plan that the agent has for selling the home?
- Area Knowledge? be sure your agent knows the local market and prices your home accordingly
- HOW MANY PHOTOS will the agent put on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and do they use a versatile wide-angles lens Digital Camera that is good for interior room shots? This may seem like a strange questions but photography is the most important traffic generator. The better the photography and the more photos your house has, the more traffic will come through your door and the better your chance of receiving 1 or more offers.
It is important to remember that most homes will receive the greatest number of showing the first 30 days on the market. For this reason, it is crucial that the home be priced correctly from day 1! This is the single most important decision that a homeowner and Real Estate Agent need to make. If you price your home to high, the home may sit without showings. If you price it to low, you may leave money on the table. The mistake that most sellers make is to 'reach' for the highest price and let buyers pass through without interest because, for that higher price, they can get a nicer home. If you and your agent can not agree on the price, ask your agent to take you around to assess the competition. After seeing other homes for sale in the same neighborhood, it is much easier to understand how a buyer will assess and value your house. For a no cost Competitive Market Analysis of your home, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to meet with you to review the current market data and help you determine the value of your home. Here are just a few of the many factors we will use when preparing an analysis:
- The total number of comparable homes currently for sale in your neighborhood
- The total square footage of your home
- The overall condition of the house
- The school district the home resides in
- Total size of the lot